A post by David Zahl dealing with the implications of a social science report that finds that tries to engage with optimistic teens turning into disillusioned 30 somethings.
From the report itself:

The researchers can only speculate about why getting older is less fun than ever, but it seems the downturn in happiness among today’s thirtysomethings is the lasting effect of an overly optimistic youth, Twenge said. “This is something I’ve thought about for a while,” she told Science of Us. It’s the natural, if unintended, backfiring of a childhood filled with messages like, You can be anything you want to be!
Soaring expectations, if left unmet, can lead to crushing disappointment; this is the kind of common-sense statement that happens to also be backed up by a raft of psychological research…

From Zahl’s reflections:

When we embrace an inflated anthropology, we set ourselves up for disappointment and confusion, rather than wonder or compassion. For example, a vaunted view of ourselves all but dictates how we will respond to the horrific events that transpired in Paris last week. Empathy is too frightening for what it might say about us, and so we demonize. We classify the perpetrators as completely other–bad as opposed to good, savage as opposed to enlightened, victimizers as opposed to victims–which only furthers the same dehumanization that makes such acts possible in the first place. Perhaps that’s too close to the bone.

Read the whole post at Mockingbird.

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